“Anyone with a serious battle needs a strong sense of meaning and purpose in their lives. Playing at the Pines give me so much more than I give them!”
Barbara Rothman is a volunteer here, at Pines of Sarasota. She comes often to share with the residents, staff, and anyone within ear-shot, her amazing gift of piano. “Music has always had a special place in my heart,” Mrs. Rothman told me, when I asked her why she comes to play for those that live at Pines. “Most seniors have grown up with pianos in their homes and treasure the music in their lives.”
Barbara and her husband came to Sarasota, when her husband began a research project centered around local senior residences. Mrs. Rothman left her residency at Kutshers Country Club near Monticello, New York nestled in the Catskill Mountains. Through her husband’s research, Barbara was connected with the Pines of Sarasota and has been coming here to play ever since.
Last year, Barbara was diagnosed with cancer, but has chosen to continue playing through her treatments. “It’s fun to play for people who love music as much as I do.” The residents share their favorite pieces and composers with Barbara. They love singing show tunes from Broadway musicals and a special favorite of the residents is hearing Sibelius’s Finlandia. “It is fun to play pieces like music from operas that have been borrowed for TV and radio shows – the Lone Ranger, for example. I imagine the him galloping through the activities hall as I play!”
Mrs. Rothman reminded me several times of how strong she is. “They give me more than I give them.” It is often overlooked how much the residents give in return. Health care workers, volunteers, and other staff pour out so much of themselves for the sake of caring for the residents, but we receive so much in turn. For Barbara Rothman, coming to play for the residents at Pines keeps her strong and excited to come back time and time again.